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Ceres High falls short in upset bid of league-champion Central Valley
Jaron Dickson, Daevon Brown propel Hawks
Manuel Garcia (white jersey) and Central Valley earned a hard-fought 55-49 victory over Johnathan Williams and Ceres High on Friday.

The much-anticipated rematch between Central Valley's and Ceres High's varsity boys basketball teams took place this past week.

"It's not going to be easy," Hawks senior guard Daevon Brown said leading up to the crosstown affair. "It's going to be a tough, physical game like last time. They're going to give it their all."

The Bulldogs failed in their attempt to spoil Central Valley's Senior Night and bid to maintain a perfect record in Western Athletic Conference play.

The Hawks won the second meeting, 55-49, Friday evening.

"It feels great to win and get bragging rights," Central Valley senior guard Jaron Dickson said. "We were also playing for seeding for playoffs."

First-place Central Valley improved to 11-0 in the WAC.

Third-place Ceres High dropped to 7-4 in the league standings.

The Hawks clinched the WAC title-their first conference championship in varsity boys basketball-with a 74-25 win at Los Banos on Feb. 11.

"We deserved it," Dickson said. "We worked harder than everyone else. It's the best feeling in the world. I'm glad to be a part of it. I'm not surprised. We knew we shouldn't lose a game in league."

Dickson scored a game-high 24 points.

Brown, Parker Griffin and Devon Bolivar tallied 13, six and four points, respectively.

Nimrat Chahal and Manuel Garcia both collected three points.

Simeron Singh had two points.

Puneet Sahi scored a team-high 13 points for the Bulldogs.

Ramon Coral, Joshneil Sandhu, Nick Burt and Haadyn Martinez tallied 11, nine, five and three points, respectively.

Juan Anderson, Brad Bussard and Austin Stiles all collected two points.

Ismael Ontiveros and Johnathan Williams had one point each.

"Playing against Central Valley is always fun," Sahi said. "It's a good experience. We did an excellent job tonight. We wanted to win. It didn't matter if they were undefeated or not. We just had too many turnovers."

Central Valley led 41-36 at the end of the third quarter.

The Hawks outscored the Bulldogs 14-13 in the final period. Dickson had 10 points.

"It's different playing against Central Valley," Stiles said. "It's a bigger game. It's a fun environment. We're crosstown rivals. We were hoping to give them their first loss. We came up short. Our offense wasn't clicking the way it should. We gave it our all."

"We were over-amped in the first half," Dickson said. "We were calm in the second half and played our game."

The Hawks compiled a 2-0 record against the Bulldogs this season.

Central Valley defeated Ceres High 51-42 at Phil de la Porte Gymnasium on Jan. 23.

The Hawks led by as much as 18 points in the third quarter before having to stave off a late rally by the Bulldogs. Ceres High got within five points at the 1:49 mark.

"It's always a good game between us regardless of the talent level," Dickson said.

Added Brown: "I give credit to Ceres High. There's no give up in them no matter the score."